How to Eat Health Hacks
If you’ve read the blog post Diet Health Hacks you’ll have learnt lots of easy tricks for increasing the nutrient availability in the food you eat. But it’s not just what we eat that is important but how we eat and when we eat. Here are 5 tips to improve your habits around food.
1. Activate Your Senses
The digestive juices start to flow when we look at food and smell food, so take some time to activate your senses before you tuck in. Taking a couple of full inhalations and exhalations whilst giving thanks for the food you are about to eat can give your digestive system time to prepare for the food that’s about to enter it.
2. Leave space between meals
As well as producing digestive juices and enzymes to break down food, the digestive tract creates movement to keep food flowing through. One of these movements is called the migrating motor complex. The migrating motor complex operates best between meals when we are in a fasting state. For the migrating complex to have a chance to get going it’s best to leave 3-5 hours between meals This may mean having slightly larger meals that keep you going a bit longer, rather small, frequent meals and snacks.
3. Chew, Chew, Chew
Most of us probably eat too fast at least some of the time, if not all of the time. We live in a society where speed is of the essence. This means that taking time to enjoy our food and to chew each mouthful thoroughly goes out the window. Aim for slow, mindful eating, savouring every bite.
4. Fast overnight
Apart from shift workers who are on a different schedule most people have some hours during the night when they are not eating. This is the overnight fast. Slightly extending this overnight fast can have many benefits to health. Start by observing how many hours there are between your evening meal and your breakfast. For example, if you have your evening meal at 7pm and your breakfast at 7am you have had a 12 hours fast. Excellent! Then see if you can gradually extend this fast at least a few days a week. So, eat half an hour earlier in the evening and have breakfast half an hour later. This fasting time can be gradually increased. Be careful not to go too long without food if you have blood sugar problems, adrenal fatigue, thyroid problems or diabetes or are pregnant or lactating or doing a lot of physical work or exercise. Fasting for long periods does not suit everyone so listen to your body.
5. Limit drinks with meals
The digestive system needs a lot of fluids in order to function. However, it is best not to take too much fluid with meals as this dilutes the digestive juices. Instead, drink your fluids between meals or 20 minutes before meals.
See the blog post N.E.A.T Exercise for Health for the benefits of non exercise activity and how to get more of this into your life.